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Sunday, August 03, 2003
Published on Sundays
Suffering from our poetry
The world scaled down
ACCORDING to Joseph Needham, ancient and medieval China was between one and 13 centuries ahead of the West in important technical innovations. Europe caught up gradually, laboriously, borrowing the bases of its own later supremacy: paper and ...
In the big league
IT is a seasonal buzz which the publishing industry needs to keep itself in the headlines, and without which book columnists might never make it to the front page. Welcome to the world of unimaginably huge publishers' advances. And this time it ...
THE VIEW FROM KING STREET
Monarchs without thrones
Europe's ex-kings and royal `pretenders' are seldom in the news but they are not forgotten. CHRISTOPHER HURST surveys a varied scene.
History written in blood
CHRONICLER Ahron Bregman has had to eat his words. And, he admits it at the outset itself in the second edition of his book Israel's Wars. In the preface to the 2002 edition of the book now on the stands here as an Indian reprint ...
Fast forward to World War III
BBC correspondent Humphrey Hawksley adds another novel the third in a span of six years to his "future histories" series with The Third World War. And, as in the case of its predecessor Dragon Fire ...
You said it - common man's byline
IT is not by design but just a sheer coincidence that all the books featuring in this column this time around have mediapersons as authors. While Bregman and Hawksley's works opened out to the world as books, R.K. Laxman's The Best of Laxman: ...
AT forty you ruminate. Mostly about life and what it has done to you. At forty you count your blessings. And accept the bitter dollops that have been flung your way. Aftab is forty. Balding a bit, a tiny little paunch, a tiny bit prosperous and ...
The book thief
MOST book lovers confess to having pinched a book or two in their young life. Others speak of having wanted to but not daring it. "God, I wanted to lay my hands on it so badly", they will say of a particular book. Some will just grin sheepishly ...
Chronicler of Dalit life
IT is rarely that writers take up themes of inter-communal rivalries and their consequences on the lives of people. Bama, the well-known writer has dared to do it. Bama is not just a writer but also a chronicler and recorder of Dalit life and ...
The words of war - III
THE last gulf war generated enough war-related euphemisms and acronyms to begin the study of what may be called military linguistics. The new branch could study the psychology behind calling a conflict a "war" (to rationalise use of excessive ...
Matters of choice
Dominated by historians rather than theologians, Religious Conversion is empirically rich without imposing tendentious theoretical speculations, says PRATAP BHANU MEHTA.
The day lasts a lifetime
IT begins provocatively enough with a scene of masturbation. For greater curiosity value, the masturbation is encoded within the parameters of a marriage which seems to have turned rancid and the act of sexual pleasure works to underscore the ...
TARIQ ALI'S book is history-telling par excellence. It engages the reader passionately and enables him to understand the nightmare of history from which we wake temporarily when the event occurs, only to return to amnesia as our short memories ...
A history of the present as a whodunnit
Aniruddha Bahal's seductive cool represents the triumphant upward mobility of the Indian middle class for whom the nation, and even a part of the world outside, is up for grabs, writes AMITAVA KUMAR.
Renewing the Republic
India's Living Constitution takes stock of the career trajectory of the Constitution in the first half-century of its existence, says MALINI SOOD.
Distilled wisdom and prejudice
The Indian Mutiny gives the overwhelming impression that this is a book written for a British audience by a British historian, says P.J.O. TAYLOR.
CAMBRIDGE Advanced Learner's Dictionary, published in India, may be the latest of the Advanced Learner's Dictionaries on the market. The book claims to include 1,70,000 words, phrases and examples, and over 1,000 new words (such as "clickable" ...
Records and revelations
A book that will go a long way in establishing the historicity and antiquity of Tamil, writes INDIRA PARTHASARATHY of Iravatham Mahadevan's Early Tamil Epigraphy.
Towards a critical modernity
More than a history told in brief but telling strokes, Musaddas is a cultural critique conducted in the medium of verse, says RANJIT HOSKOTE.
MARTHA ANN SELBY'S translation of the classical Indian seasonal poetry into English is relevant in many ways. Firstly, any translation, poetry in particular, from any regional language into English is welcome in this day and age when a ...
DeLillo has a reputation for reading the American psyche. But none of his visionary powers comes through in Cosmopolis, says ANITA ROY.
Obituary for childhood
This is a book of fiction, with the narrative and imaginative licence that the term implies. I have a low opinion of my ability to tell the truth, whatever the definition of it is, and even if it were possible. COMING from Richard ...
Tracking men and matters
Inventing Global Ecology makes a valuable contribution to tracing the history of old-style natural history in India and its transformation into modern wildlife management, says K. ULLAS KARANTH.
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